Resources updated between Monday, June 03, 2013 and Sunday, June 09, 2013
June 7, 2013
Austrian troops in the UN's peacekeeping force on the Golan Heights are jumping ship now that Syrian violence means their formerly quiet job entails work. The UN is upset. "Austria has been a backbone of the mission and their withdrawal will affect the mission's operational capacity," UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky told reporters in New York. Austria says it's too dangerous, but will be among the first European countries to condemn Israel should it have to make any moves to defend its citizens from events in Syria.
UN human rights "expert" Richard Falk is back on his UN podium. Falk recently made headlines after the Boston terror attacks by analogizing the victims to "canaries" that died because of understandable "resistance" to America's "fantasy of global domination." On Monday, June 10 Falk will present his latest poisonous report in Geneva, but on Thursday he held a news conference there to make sure his hatred of Israel and America was spread as widely as possible. The UN obligingly distributed his remarks and put out a press release repeating them. Notwithstanding his own writing supporting 9/11 conspiracy theories, his antisemitic postings on his website, his odious remarks on Boston, his strong support for Hamas, a terrorist organization sworn to genocide against Jews, Falk complained he was the victim of a "smear campaign." He accused Israel and "its proxies" of defaming him - an odd accusation since his written words speak for themselves. In an unusual twist, indicating that the UN is acutely aware that their "expert" is an embarrassing fraud, the press release ends with this caveat: "Independent experts, or special rapporteurs, are appointed by the Geneva-based Council...The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work." The misleading statement neglects to mention that these individuals are UN experts, travel with UN credentials, are serviced by UN staff, and have all their expenses paid by the UN.
Yet another UN body with an entrenched anti-Israel agenda. The International Labor Organization (ILO) says the "Palestinian economy will not grow unless the Israeli imposed restrictions are lifted." So how might that happen? Palestinians stop terror and decide to live in peace with their Jewish neighbor, and voila, no more restrictions. The ILO report might even have read: "Palestinian economy will not grow unless the Palestinians finally stop the violence they direct at Israel, so that the defensive restrictions can be lifted." But the facts aren't politically correct at the UN.
June 6, 2013
The UN "Human Rights" Council is engaged in a new frontal assault on Israel ironically in the name of "universality" - the equal application of human rights standards. Released Thursday was the Council President's latest installment, this time in the form of a UN document which gives Israel a deadline - or else. In mid-2012, Israel stopped cooperating with the UN Geneva human rights system because of the litany of double-standards and discrimination against the Jewish state. That included non-participation in the so-called "universal periodic review" (UPR) procedure. During the UPR, states are discussed by the Council in a bizarre dialogue which has no consequences and which has been hijacked by human rights violators to put a positive spin on their abysmal records. This sham review with its fiction of "universality" is now being used to accuse Israel of wanting exceptional treatment. The victim of discrimination becomes the violator in a tried-and-true UN formula for demonizing Israel. Israel has said in writing that it is willing to discuss a return, but it has yet to present conditions or state the case for ending the entrenched discrimination to which it is subject at every session of the Council.
Report of the President of the Human Rights Council submitted in accordance with Council decision "The non-cooperation of a State under Review with the Universal Periodic Review mechanism" OM/7/1 of 29 January 2013, A/HRC/23/CRP.1 Development
June 5, 2013
Iran continues to enjoy its stint as President of the Disarmament Conference. Speaking on the road ahead, the President told delegates he "would take into account the interests of all Member States." Well, maybe not the "Zionist entity" which it is trying to eradicate. Iran continued to receive a warm reception by other law-abiding world citizens. "Zimbabwe, speaking on behalf of the Group of 21, congratulated Iran on the assumption of the Presidency." Speaking in his Iranian Ambassadorial capacity, Mohsen Naziri Asl added: "Iran would like to see a concrete timeframe for the elimination of nuclear weapons under strict verification." No verification now while the country builds a nuclear weapon. Later.
More treats from the UN "Human Rights" Council. Speaking on behalf of 70% of UN members, Iran had this to say about "the promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development:" "non-interference in internal state matters was important." Why 90,000+ dead in Syria merit a fraction of the time and resources spent by the UN on Israel-bashing.
Treats from the UN "Human Rights" Council. In its "interactive dialogue" on discrimination against women in law and practice, Iran said "there seemed to be a fallacious linkage being made in the international community between encouraging the participation of women in public and political life and concepts of multiculturalism and respect for minority rights." In the dialogue on freedom of opinion and expression, China said "there should be reasonable restrictions placed on the rights to free expression insofar as they could conflict with other rights." Iran heads the 120-nations of the "non-aligned" movement. Just days ago, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights didn't mention China - and its billion people denied elementary freedoms - when she pinpointed the major challenges facing human rights protection in the world today.
A telling exchange at a UN press briefing with the Secretary-General's spokesperson:
QUESTION: Since Qatar is a chair of the UN Alliance of Civilizations, I wonder if Mr. Ban Ki-moon has any concern about Qatar's role in openly backing the extremist groups in Syria and elsewhere, and the fact that this could undermine their credibility and work of this committee, which is supposed to promote the diversity, culture diversity, religious tolerance in the world?
SPOKESPERSON: The Alliance of Civilizations does an extremely important job, and the Secretary-General has full confidence in the work of the head of the Alliance of Civilizations. Any other questions, please?
The Director General of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency is forthcoming. He told the IAEA's Board of Governors: "Despite the intensified dialogue between the Agency and Iran since January 2012, during which time 10 rounds of talks have been held, no agreement has been reached. To be frank, for some time now, we have been going around in circles." Indeed. Iran is running circles around the President of the United States.
June 4, 2013
Why the UN is a key roadblock to world peace: The Arab-Israeli conflict began with Arab rejection of a Jewish state at the UN General Assembly itself. Sixty five years (of wars and terrorist attacks aimed at Israel's eradication) later, the UN Secretary-General tells American Jews it is the "occupation" that is the heart of the problem and threatens: "We are also approaching a point of no return in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict...This may well be the last chance for the two-State solution." Last chance for whom? The two-state solution is now optional? Break down the Secretary-General threat. Mouthing word-for-word the Arab side, Ban Ki-moon says that either the Jewish state accepts a "solution" of a permanent state of aggression with indefensible borders and another neighbor dedicated to the destruction of a Jewish state, or the Jewish state accepts as a "solution" a "one-state" that is not Jewish. In short, reject Israel for long enough and rejection becomes legitimate. The American Jewish Committee honored Ban Ki-moon with its invitation to deliver this threat, and he thanked them in return. "I thank the American Jewish Committee for its commitment to the United Nations." This current commitment includes AJC support of American membership and dollars for the UN Human Rights Council - the UN's Israel-demonization headquarters.
June 3, 2013
Israel has signaled to the UN Human Rights Council President, Remigiusz A. Henczel of Poland, that it is actively pursuing a return to a full relationship with the UN Human Rights Council and associated mechanisms. The letter, circulated widely by Henczel, does not indicate any specific conditions for Israel's policy change or articulate to the UN human rights world the discriminatory conditions to which Israel is subject. Those conditions, such as the Council's permanent agenda item devoted to Israel-bashing (while all other states are taken together) will not be reformed or altered by the Muslim- dominated body. Hence, the move suggests Israel is prepared to mount the UN "human rights" bus and resume sitting at the back - in the name of "universal" human rights standards which are rooted in equality. The Obama administration is the lead champion of the Council and Israel's non-participation was an embarrassment. Why the profound embarrassment of accepting the double-standards, and thereby sending a message of serious weakness and self-doubt, is not Israel's priority, is anyone's guess.